Thursday, April 30, 2015

Why You Should Be Paying Your Kid

I think most of us would agree that kids need chores or tasks to do around the house. Buy giving kids jobs, no matter how small, it teaches them responsibility and the importance of work. And to quote Dave Ramsey, it teaches them that you work, you get paid. You don't work, you don't get paid.

But shouldn't kids do chores simply because they are a member of the family? 
Yes, but not every chore. Although this is a great thought, kids-especially little ones, lack that intrinsic motivation that motivates most of us as adults. Plus, who doesn't love earning money? As much as I love what I do and going to work, if I didn't get a paycheck I wouldn't keep going back.

What can kids learn from earning money?

  • You work, you get paid. Don't work, don't get paid
  • Delayed gratification. Saving your money to buy something larger and/or more expensive instead of spending it right away
  • The joy of giving. Saving a little of their money to tithe or give back to others
  • A sense of pride from following through with a task
  • Responsibility in keeping your money in a safe place and not losing it
  • They become "money smart." They learn that a penny is one cent, quarter 25 cents, etc
  • Comparing prices when choosing what to buy
  • You can only spend what you've earned which is the most basic level of living within your means
What do we do with our kids?
Since Jack's not even two, he obviously doesn't earn money for doing chores, but we do require him to do small things around the house like pick up toys, throw trash away, etc.

Ben is 6 and the perfect age to get paid for doing chores. We actually started letting him earn money when he was 4, but he has become more interested in earning money and saving it within the last couple of months especially since he is into buying things like lego sets and Pokemon cards.

How much do we pay?
We don't have set amounts for doing certain chores, but for most things we pay a dollar. Some things he gets paid to do are:
  • Helping with Jack (playing with him while I do housework, washing his hair while they're in the shower, etc)
  • Cleaning out the car
  • Vacuuming
  • Organizing/Putting things away (holiday decorations, groceries, etc) 
  • Helping take out the trash
  • Making his bed 
Things he doesn't get paid for:
  • Cleaning his room. But if he does it extra quickly, without whining, or without asking for money, he may earn a dollar 
  • Picking up his clothes/shoes
  • Clearing his plate after a meal
  • Getting dressed/ready for the day
Why don't we pay him for the things above? 
Because they've always been things we've expected of him since he was old enough to do them. Remember that intrinsic motivation I talked about earlier? That's how you begin to build it. Small tasks that are part of the family routine that every family member does without getting anything in return. Remember, I get paid for actually working at my job, but not getting dressed and driving to work. 

Keep in mind. Your kids are not earning an "allowance." They don't get paid for just existing in the house. They must do something (work that's age appropriate) in order to get money. 

Need ideas for age appropriate chores? Google is your best friend and will give you list after list of tasks they can complete.

Now I want to hear what you all do? Do you pay your kids for doing chores? If not, why?

Linking up with Annie for Thoughts on Thursday.
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